Friday, March 31, 2006


How strange, I was checking on my site traffic, and noticed a very strange and mostly unaccounted for traffic spike. The engineer in me turned to data analysis...and low and behold, I discovered that Carat had garnered a mention on MAKE! Tell me, how cool is that? I'm so proud :D

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mmmm Cheese.

With the spring here, and warmer weather, a transition back to shorts and more fitted clothing is in order....much to my dismay, things are not fitting quite like they were before the winter season set in. This might just be the jolt to remind myself that I wanted to work on my overall health and fitness this year...

So I've buckled back down, gotten out the measuring spoons and scoops and dusted the fiber off the scale (I have been using my kitchen scale to weigh fiber lately ;) )

I kicked off my renewed "diet" with Fondue for lunch - that's right - cheese. For lunch. On a diet. Yes, it is possible. I have never believed anything should be "off limits" while trying to pare down poundage...I also have never believed that butter, cheese or ice cream should be traded in for their "lite" counterparts.

Anyhow, back to the fondue - it was rather tasty, if I do say so myself. I steamed a bunch of vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, a small potato and asparagus, if you must know) and then nuked up the fondue - it was quick and easy to prepare, and consisted of a smidge of flour, chicken broth, a touch of mustard powder and pepper and cheese of course - 2 ounces worth. It was more than enough to keep me happy thru to dinner time. And for you Weight Watchers out there, it was well worth the 8 points ;)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Matcha Madness

It must be a sign of spring and summer...

First I got a little promo thingie for the stuff on the left (which, by the way, I can't find at my local grocery stores at all :( )

But while I was hunting for it, I decided to ask the Starbucks Guy if he knows if they might carry it since Starbucks and Tazo seem to be paired. He didn't know anything about the Matcha Latte concentrate, but he did let me know that the Matcha Green Tea Frappuccino is coming back!

Set your calendars - they are due to be available Monday April 3rd!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Batt'r Up!

Thanks to the late season bugs making their rounds, the weekend was dedicated to creating inventory for the local yarn shop in addition to my own store. I'm all batted out I think. A weekends worth of hand carding has me surrounded by batts.

I did spend some quality time with my wheel...the cats were plenty happy to let me spin peacefully when I was just spinning the plain wool...but the plying was a different story altogether. That's what I get for trying a five ply (what cat could possibly resist all that string waving about?!) and it certainly didn't help that 2 of the plys were rather shiny - especially the one with beads and sequins all over it! Stay tuned, that skein is in the finishing process now.

Troy may look all innocent, but really, he's quite the little hellion. I think at one point I was stuck behind my wheel, one cat was batting at the beaded thread and the other had managed to grab hold of one of the other plies and was dragging it away.

Here he is, resting up and saving energy for the next spinning section. And don't buy that "who, me?" look of his. He's got it perfected after all the mischief he's raised :)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Stash Reduction

Alright, I'm going through my stash and am trying to find new homes for some of my yarn - you can see the list (now updated with photos) here. A bonus, it's on its very own blog - so if you are inclined, you can subscribe to its feed :) The list is also linked in the sidebar, so if you don't want to go with the feed, you can opt to click over there any time ;)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Kitchen Lab

My poor kitchen is just not turning anything interesting out lately - I'm not feeling motivated or inspired to cook....

However, this seems like something right up my alley. Perhaps I should suggest it to my cohorts back at my alma mater...

Kitchen Aid *check*
Tasty Ice Cream Base *check*
LN2 *drat* unfortunately, my stock of LN2 is running a bit low. *sigh*

Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy Spring!

Vernal (spring) equinox is today :)
While my favorite season is the autumn, I also love the spring - it's usually marked with a spurt of wildflowers and the hills all bedecked in color, but this year we've been having a bit of a shortage of rain.

Sadly, today is a photoless post.

For those who are crocheting patterns by me, I have created flickr groups for each of them...
Right now, I think they only have photos posted by me...If you have made any of the little creatures, feel free to join the Flickr Groups:
Little Lambkins
Ilion the Cat
Carat with Carrots

Stay tuned for new batt colors - I've been giving the drum carder quite the workout and I'm quite pleased with the new color combinations :)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Some favorite things....

Amongst the things I seem to adore, bowls are one of them. I really like this bowl - first, because it has a cute kitty that looks an awful lot like my kitty (along with some mice) playing with a ball of yarn....

Second, because it's the perfect size for a serving of ice cream or other tasty things that should be indulged in with pudding or custard....or molten cake.

...or sweetly handspun yarn ;) (thank you Illanna!)

Finally, you can see the third reason I love this bowl - it clearly proclaims the contents as "mine" :D

I'm adoring the yarn, I love it when people bring me gifts I can learn from! I plan on studying it closely so I can create more beaded yarns for the shop! (yeah, I know I said that would not likely happen again anytime soon...but soon after I was gifted with this ball, I somehow stumbled into Beads Galore and wound up leaving with a pile of beads that I think will go quite nicely with some handblends I've got bouncing around in my head. Unfortunately now I have to see if they will fit through the orifice of my spinning wheel. Stay tuned ;)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Forced into the kitchen

Apparently, Peanut Brittle is considered a seasonal item. I was hunting high and low for it the other day, to supplement the hiking food pantry (with the amount of hiking that is done around here, it is safe to say that the regular gorp and beef jerky were long ago tired of). Anyhow, as there was no peanut brittle to be had at the store, I figured I'd try my hand at making my own. Yeah, the color is off...but I figure the next time, I'll get it right.

Recipe and comments can be found here.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Springtime Buns

With the lack of rain, all kinds of little creatures are wending their way down into the residential areas. Each morning and evening I could watch cottontails browsing the grass in nearby parks and greenbelts, and they provided the inspiration for this little guy.

His name is Carat :) Don't you just want to reach out and give him a hug?

Luckily the record breaking lack of precipitation was finally broken over the weekend, giving me an opportunity to actually finalize the pattern for Carat.

Should you wish to make a Carat for your own, his pattern is available at the shop now :)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

a little bit of this...

...and a little bit of that.

Twas an exciting weekend, actually *seeing* my yarn and some of my batts at the LYS gave me a little jolt of surprise and pleasure :) At the same time, it also made me realize my personal store is near to empty, and that I better get spinnin'! Hoping for a little rain to perk the wild flowers down this way, I spun up another skein of Desert Globe Mallow - this time with more Mallow ;)

I did somehow find myself sucked into a bead store, so while I did vow to not do beaded yarns again, I'm going to have to give it another go...This time, I think I'll be going with beads on the plying thread rather than beading the singles as I spin.

In addition to pondering and designing yarns, I sat myself down to think a bit about some other design friend Alison is launching a new e-magazine: For the Love of Yarn - go check it out :) She's accepting design submissions in both Knit and Crochet in addition to if ever you've been wanting to be published, here's an opportunity :)

Monday, March 06, 2006

Glorious Sunsets

This photo (I love the desert - we have such spectacular sunsets!) led to this:

A bowlful of wonderfully colored merino...yeah, I admit to using a huge mixing bowl for my fiber prep activities :) May as well make my kitchen multi-purpose - it is, after all, where my drum carder lives!

Speaking of drum carders...that big bowl was turned into this:

Isn't it lovely? In case you're wondering what the batt looks like rolled, have a peek at the shop! That's right, I'm now offering batts for sale, in addition to handspun!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Busy and Exciting

Last weekend was a busy one indeed, what with the redesigning of the sweater and the subsequent ripping and reknitting. Before I went and got that wild and crazy idea of redesigning my knitwear, I had spent the day carding and spinning.

Since I was wanting to test out my CD Spindles, I spun up another skein of Nighttime Sky. I'm pleased to announce the spindles seem to spin beautifully and are certainly not lacking in capacity! I fit the entire 4 oz skein quite happily onto my CD spindle. In case you're wondering, I decided to do away with the binder clips, as I was afraid they would snag my precious handspun - the weight of 2 CDs seemed to be fine for plying purposes.

In addition to playing with my new spindles, I finally got around to executing on a yarn that's been floating around in my brain for a while - a closeup and more info can be found here.

And now for the exciting news: my yarns and some handblended batts will be available for purchase at a newly opening local yarn store (in addition to my online store, tho it is rather depleted for now)! You locals should have a peek at Tempe Yarn and Fiber - their Birthday and "Grand Opening" is this weekend!